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Messages - christophertvarne

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Provided it's not a full page, the rate is good by Malaysian standards. However, I'm not familiar with the editorial rates elsewhere.

I have a magazine that has offered me $250 to license an image for an article.  I'm wondering if that's a good price point for single use and does not include web rights (just printing in the one issue of the magazine).  It's a regional magazine, so we're talking 100,000 copies.  I tried to negotiate but it was $250, take it or leave it.

Totally agree. Most clients are concerned about whether it's the right image and/or the right price. All other things are secondary. When you factor out price and the image, what else is left? Preference to particular agencies? Payment options? I don't know really.

They care which agency as long they can find a quality image they want at the right price.  No one was referring to an agent earlier, well at least I wasn't.  Buyers don't care which artist/photographer the images comes from as long as it's what they're looking for.  They're in a hurry so they're not going to click on an image, then click the contributor's port and let their bio content be the deciding factor on whether they purchase it or not. 

No, it's not cheaper nor is it more expensive. It's the same. When agencies represent other RF brands, the prices are set by the image provider. It's the same across the board. We're not a subscription website, but we do offer subscriptions to interested clients, as well as VCDs, RF, and RM images. However, subscriptions are separate from our website, e.g. clients have to go to other websites to register accounts.

For sure, there are clients that shop around to find the best deal (you can do that with RM images). When talking about RF images, that's not always the case, since RF have set prices. Prices vary greatly in microstock, especially when factoring in extended/merchandising licenses. It could certainly be a search engine issue. The fact is that image codes/IDs are different for every stock website, just as in microstock. Or maybe it's just a matter of preference.

Is it because it is cheaper from you?Or perhaps you are a subscription site that they have already paid into? Maybe they have an account with you but your search engine is a mess so they can't find anything on it (in which case you need to do something).

Not necessarily. We have clients that go to our competitors' websites, download the low-res/thumbnail and ask if we have the same images. Why would they do that if they don't care about where they license the images? Why would they go through the trouble of involving a second agency when they know for a fact that they can buy the same image from the first agency? It sure seems to me that clients do care where they license images.

Theres one truth in all this verbal beefing though which needs to be taken seriously. Picture buyers, designers, Ad-people, etc,  they really dont give a crap where or from whom they buy as long as they get their stuff.

I don't really know about any of the microstock agencies, but because I do actually work for an agency in Asia, I know that our clients use lightboxes extensively. Mostly to organize images they like or need for future use. Especially those that buy from subscriptions. They have tons of lightboxes for a large variety of subjects. I'd be very surprised if the same wasn't true for microstock buyers too. However, there's a big difference between buyers organizing their own lightboxes and you guys creating lightboxes/galleries for the buyers.

Agree with BaldricksTrousers. You cannot charge the buyers a fee to use the website. Nowadays, stock agencies don't even charge for doing image searches for buyers!

Don't know how many of you keep track of what's happening in macrostock, but premium RF prices are going down (moodboard, Imagebroker etc.). Every other month or so we get emails from agencies lowering the prices for the RF images.

It's probably better to set it up as invitation only in the beginning, maybe needing recommendations from two accepted members or something.

When it comes to image hosting, you can get around that by relying on third-party websites with established customers already. For example, with a fairly large collection, Impact in IT's platform doesn't have image hosting fees for image providers (e.g. it is the agencies that would represent your collection that are charged a fee based on the size of the collection). I know the guy working at Impact and could talk with him about hosting.

The main problem is whether agencies are going to be interested in another microstock/midstock brand.

Go for it. I am quite suprised that it hasn't happen earlier in microstock (or maybe it has, but I've just missed it). Lots of traditional agencies started out like this: a group of stock photographers combining their efforts to market themselves. Just take a look at Blend Images, for example.

Regarding the pricing, why not do the opposite? Go higher. You're going to provide high-quality content in one place to make it easier for buyers to find great stock images. For instance, AGE has a low-budget RF collection called easyFotostock. It's made up of mostly microstock images priced at midstock prices. The reason for this is because they don't have extended/merchandising licenses: it's always included, just like in traditional RF. Why couldn't you do the same?

If you guys can gather enough contributors to create a fairly large micro/midstock collection, I don't see why you couldn't start approaching traditional agencies to represent your collection directly. Heck, you could even submit directly to easyFotostock or upload the entire collection to Impact in IT's Stock Media Server platform.

To add to Alias's list:

+ Emailers. Since you don't really have a client base yet, consider using Adbase or Agency Access.

+ Directories for art and creative buyers, like Visual Connections, Stock Index Online etc.

Off Topic / Re: Twitter - how the heck is it supposed to work?
« on: August 24, 2010, 05:39 »
As far as I know, people with 10,000+ followers (of those I know and converse with) are definately using lists and avoid reading their public timeline. There's just too much noise. Also, using Twitter applications like Hootsuite, CoTweet and Tweetdeck make it easier to keep track of lists, mentions and direct messages.

I have noticed that a lot of microstock (and traditional stock libraries) tend to tweet lightboxes or flash galleries on specific subjects. Most libraries also do this through emailers as well, so it should work pretty well on Twitter too. It could be a really good way to promote your images and still bring value to your followers. But I guess it would depend on how large your portfolio is for this to work. Heck, start promoting other photographers and people will definitely take notice! Remember to use hashtags like #photos and #photography so people can find your tweets on the public timeline.

Thanks for that information. That was what I was looking for.

I wonder how individuals do it that have 10,000 or more follower. That's just crazy.

Off Topic / Re: Twitter - how the heck is it supposed to work?
« on: August 23, 2010, 19:37 »
Twitter isn't really about what Twitter can do for you, but more what you can do for others. Doing only self-promotion or marketing won't take you very far. I would recommend to stay away from using these microstock plugins that send messages about sales (I also find it annoying) as it will only drive people away. Especially people that are interested in you, rather than your photography. But that goes to almost any automated service that spams updates.

From a business point of view, Twitter has helped us connect and sign with local photographers (Malaysia) and overseas photographers we would otherwise not have been in contact with. We've also found distributors and agencies that wanted to be represented in Malaysia. While Twitter does drive traffic to our website, I doubt it's any potential clients. To have clients follow you on Twitter, you would need to offer them something of value, like an incentive, previews of recent shoots etc.

click_click, when you're following more than 100 people on Twitter, you should create different lists of people you are genuinely interested in reading tweets from. For example, I have lists of people that are photographers, creatives (designers, artists etc.) and so on. We have about 780 followers in total; there's no away I could reasonably be able to keep track of that many followers in a meaningful way. You really need to cut down that number to have time to do other things. Otherwise you would have to spend hours per day reading tweets!

Based on our experiences in the Asian stock photography market, images with pure white background work well for certain design and advertising agencies. But it really depends on the client. Some prefer realistic backgrounds, while others want white background so they can edit the images afterwards with minimum effort.

General Midstock / Re: What about Ingram Publishing?
« on: March 07, 2010, 15:29 »
The only two micros that I know of that appoint resellers are Fotolia and Dreamstime. Don't really understand why they would want to keep that a secret. I know at least one other agency that does this (other than Getty), which is Glow Images who offer PantherMedia images as part of their subscription model. Nothing wrong with that. I am sure that other RF subscription offerings do the same. Also, many traditional agencies also have their own microstock brands or resell them via their websites.

General Midstock / Re: What about Ingram Publishing?
« on: March 06, 2010, 20:50 »

Ingram Publishing was founded in 1988, so they have been around for a long time. Don't really know what happened to them after a21 acquired them in 2005 and then the parent company went bankrupt. a21 auctioned off Ingram at that point.

Anyway, Ingram Publishing offers Royalty-Free images by subscription (called PurestockX) and Royalty-Free images by VCD (Ingram Publishing).  They are still operating and they are in the process of updating their PurestockX brand in the coming weeks.



Adobe Stock / Re: FT partners
« on: March 06, 2010, 18:58 »

Just wanted to make a quick comment on easyFotostock. It's possible for contributors to submit images directly to this collection, and you don't have to rely on third-party distributors to make sales there. Submissions made directly to the easyFotostock collection should earn you a 50% sales commission, according to this link:

You can read more about it here: http://www.agefotostock.com/phroad/ingles/phroad07b.asp

I don't know about Fotolia, but I know that PantherMedia is a major contributor to the easyFotostock collection.

IML Image Group also have their collections on AGE. As far as I know, IML doesn't have their own microstock/midstock offering. However, they are marketing the easyFotostock collection. If your sales report says that IML made the sale, it's likely from easyFotostock collection.

Hope that helps.



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